Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Working with the Normal template
Working with the normal template
Word 2013 uses templates—files saved with an extension of
.dotx or .dotm—for several purposes. Some templates serve
only as the basis for creating new documents. They might con-
tain styles, text, building blocks, and macros that are present
as soon as the new document appears on your screen. Other
templates can supply macros and customized ribbon tabs or
customized buttons on the Quick Access Toolbar, but they
don’t affect the text or styles that are available in new docu-
ments. These templates, which are any templates stored in the
folder designated as your Word Startup folder, are called global
because they’re present with every document you open.
Normal.dotm file to a different folder or change its name, it
won’t be recognized as the special template, and Word will
create a new Normal.dotm in the User Templates folder. You
can take advantage of this behavior to troubleshoot problems
related to Normal.dotm, by temporarily moving or renaming
Most changes that you might want to store in the Normal.dotm
template can be saved without directly opening the file itself.
Examples of these changes include the following:
■ When you modify a style in a document based on
Normal.dotm, you can select the New Documents Based
On This Template option to modify the style in the tem-
plate at the same time.
■ When you change settings in the Font dialog box, the
Paragraph dialog box, or the Page Setup dialog box, you
can click the Set As Default button at the bottom of the
■ When you choose a theme on the Design tab, you can
click Set As Default in the Document Formatting group.
The template named Normal.dotm has a special status: it’s both
a global template and the basis for creating new documents.
When you open Word by clicking the program’s icon rather
than clicking a specific document’s icon, it starts with a docu-
ment based on Normal.dotm. It also starts with any custom-
izations you saved in Normal.dotm during previous sessions.
When you click New in the Backstage view and then click Blank
Document, that new document is based on Normal.dotm.
The Normal.dotm template must be stored in the folder that’s
designated as your User Templates folder. If you move the
CAuTIon Although you can open and edit the Normal.dotm
template like any other template, don’t store any text in the
main document area or the headers or footers of the Normal.dotm
template. That text would appear in all new blank documents, and you
would need to delete it from documents where it doesn’t belong. Also,
if you use the Labels feature on the Mailings tab to create labels or
business cards, the presence of a header or footer inherited from
Normal.dotm will cause the label text to print in the wrong locations.